In today's evolving business landscape, the demand for bespoke solutions is reshaping the approach to order management systems (OMS).

Customization is not a mere luxury but a strategic necessity. Business leaders must consider building custom order management software to gain a competitive edge.

Why?

It’s the engine that enables businesses to adapt to unique customer requirements. Plus, it helps manage inventory and ensures timely deliveries, which are all critical drivers of customer satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Do you want to enhance operational agility, streamline operations, and boost customer experiences? Tag along. This essential guide navigates the steps involved in developing a custom OMS.

Understanding Order Management Software

Before diving into technicalities, let's understand some basics. Custom order management software (OMS) is a comprehensive software solution that enables businesses to track and handle the entire order fulfillment process.

OMS is a digital tool that serves as a central hub for managing custom orders, inventory, shipping, and accounting. The good part is that it allows businesses to manage their orders efficiently. It goes beyond to offer a holistic view of the order lifecycle and ensures that each order is processed smoothly and accurately.

Let’s look at the million-dollar question - what’s in it for you? How does OMS respond to the constantly shifting market demands?

Modernization of OMS stands as a top priority today. While eCommerce platforms are commonly in use by most industries both in B2B and B2C, the switch to modern OMS is a welcoming trend. According to the highlights shared in a webinar by Forrester, around 22% of respondents are in the process of implementing an OMS solution. Further, 20% of respondents intend to implement an OMS solution within the next 12 months.

The statistic highlights the growing need to invest in OMS solutions to expand businesses' order management capabilities. The modernized OMS offers a scalable solution with a depth of out-of-the-box features, which include:

Intuitive and innovative user experiences

OMS solutions today are intuitive and easy to learn and adopt. The custom OMS has new user interfaces that are increasingly adopting low-code or no-code models. The switch enables business users to configure workspaces seamlessly. The OMS offers faster agility that efficiently and effectively meets customers' needs. Moreover, modern solutions are designed to be accessible and cater to differently-abled users.

Ensuring transparency in AI adoption

Business leaders must have freedom when choosing new technologies, ensuring trust. Thus, for AI-based OMS solutions, the transparency it brings helps garner support and boost stakeholder trust. OMS solutions that promote transparency can easily show users the ROI of the system, which further builds trust.

Flexibility when deployment

The freedom and flexibility of an OMS platform when deploying can help. The modernized platforms allow to deploy without requiring any significant changes in architecture. Moreover, modern solutions incorporate a microservices-based API-first approach that creates a base for the OMS architecture. The feature helps to avoid any risks of disrupting business.

Sustainability in business operations

In the context of order management processes, today's businesses must address environmental, social, and governance goals. Today’s consumers are more responsible and are willing to demonstrate a stronger commitment to making sustainable choices. Thus, employing technology elements that distill carbon footprint data can impact choices and optimize operations. Modern OMS solutions can empower customers to make sustainable decisions, boosting brand reputation.

Custom OMS vs. Ready-Made Solutions

What should you opt for a custom OMS or a ready-made solution? While each has its pros and cons, it will be best to implement one that benefits your business.

The off-the-shelf OMS (or a ready-made solution) is a pre-built digital solution with preset features and functions to help track sales, orders, inventory order fulfillment, and much more. The software is developed for a wide range of users. Some popular ready-made OMS examples include Microsoft Dynamics 365, NetSuite, Oracle order management cloud, Orderhive, SAP order management, and IBM Sterling Order Management.

However, as we know, one size does not fit all, and sometimes when a solution that can go beyond to match distinct requirements will help. In such a scenario, a custom OMS benefits more.

Bottomline: Ready-made OMScaters to a wide range of users.

Off-the-shelf OMSare designed to match your specific business needs.

Decision-making can be critical as it may impact your business and competitiveness. Let’s dive in to learn more.

Table 1: A comparative view of ready-made OMS solutions vs. custom OMS


Factors

Ready-made OMS

Custom OMS

Cost

Less expensive, requiring lesser investments at the beginning, but it can get more expensive in the long run

More expensive at the initial phases but has better ROI and is effective in the long run

Time to develop

Less time to deploy and implement

More time to build the solution as per business needs

Customization

Limited

Few features can be added as and when needed

Scalability and future-proofing

Has scalability issues and difficulty in expanding

Can be designed for scalability, ensuring business growth

Accessibility and user-friendliness

Solutions may not be user-friendly or think about accessibility

Solutions have a stronger focus on accessibility and user-friendliness, building solutions that all users can use regardless of their challenges

Integration

Limited integration capabilities

Can easily integrate with any software, including e-commerce platforms, CRM, ERP, and more

Upgrades and support

Can roll out timely upgrades

Implements the upgrades as needed by the company and only when it is convenient to process and test them

Security

Depends on solution providers security practices

Minimized risks as advanced security facets can be incorporated

Regulatory compliances

Typically covers compliances restricted to global data security standards

All necessary compliances, including regional, industry-specific, and global, are taken care of

Learning curve

Steep due to difficult UI/UX

Short due to intuitive UI/UX
 

It will help to be aware of and carefully evaluate the numerous features that OMS solutions include when building a Custom OMS. While the functions will vary depending on the industry, many basic features remain the same.

Let's look at some key features that one must include in 2024 and beyond.

1. Seamless Integration

Any enterprise in today’s business landscape will have numerous systems, which include ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management), accounting software, TMS (transport management system), EDI, and business intelligence. A good OMS must be able to integrate with other business systems seamlessly. The integration enables real-time data synchronization and ensures consistent information across countless systems.

2. Multi-channel Integration

Enterprises may have considerable sales channels, which include marketplaces, online stores, and physical locations. There is a need to consolidate orders from all such numerous channels into a centralized system. An efficient OMS must ensure the consolidation and streamlining of processes and a unified view of all orders.

3. Visibility of Real-time Inventory

It is necessary to monitor stock availability to prevent any overstocking or understocking. In such scenarios, real-time visibility into inventory levels is significant as it offers accurate inventory information. The data helps with efficient order fulfillment and replenishment to meet demands without overstocking or increasing holding costs. Yet another vital benefit is improved customer satisfaction.

4. Reducing Errors

OMS deals with massive amounts of data. When the data is dispersed across multiple channels, the issues get more difficult. The glitches may lead to e-commerce security issues and spread throughout the inventory management chain or supply chain. With an effective OMS, the discrepancies can be checked, reducing manual intervention. The outcomes can significantly improve order accuracy and efficiency.

5. Omnichannel Support

Omnichannel support allows brands to offer innovative services like Order in Store, Reserve and Collect, or in-store returns of online orders. It helps optimize inventory levels and improve fulfillment processes. It facilitates the significant business needs of seamlessly processing orders across multiple sales channels such as online, in-store, mobile, and social media. With this feature, you can rest assured that consistency in order management, inventory allocation, and customer data synchronization across different channels will be ensured.

6. Workflow Automation

Automating repetitive tasks and processes can be a huge help in order management, and it is a vital feature to be added to an OMS. Workflow automation includes automating order routing, approval processes, and much more. It saves time and enhances overall operational efficiency.

7. Analytics and reporting

The C-suite executives can benefit from analytical information to make informed decisions. The custom OMS that includes features to offer customizable infographic dashboards that can display pending orders, current orders, customer inquiries, KPIs, and more can help businesses. The insights support identifying successful sales strategies, evaluating performance, and identifying potential improvements.

Developing a Custom OMS: Step-by-Step Process

Let's take a look at the step by step process of a building a custom order management software

1. Initial Consultation and Requirement Analysis

Requirement Gathering

The first step is to gather the requirements for the software solution. It involves brainstorming with all stakeholders to find out the features and functional requirements for the solution to be built. Plus, it is an excellent phase to check the capacities of the internal team or look for a potential partner who can develop the solution for you. The cost-benefit analysis (CBA) at this stage can help to decide on the development.

2. Design and Management

The design and development team will provide an optimal OMS feature set at this stage. They must create role-specific UX and UI prototypes. Plus, keeping scalability in mind, the team can come up with a scalable architecture that’s right for the OMS solution.

The selected architecture can handle the anticipated order volume and support scalability. A detailed plan must be put together for its integrations with the needed hardware and software or the other systems (such as BI, EDI, TMS, and so on.)

3. Implementation Planning and Project Planning

Realistically, planning for the project is critical for its success. Planning for contingencies and defining deliverables, scope, and KPIs is a good idea. The estimation of needed resources can help prepare a strategy, check if the project is on track, and plan to mitigate risks.

4. Development and Testing

It's time to develop the planned custom OMS software solution. The stage takes care of transforming your vision and requirements into a functional system. Simply, it brings the software to life. The developer team typically follows an agile methodology and blends industry best practices to ensure top-notch quality of the deliverable.

Testing is an essential part of the development process. The team performs numerous types of testing, from unit testing to system testing and integration testing. The phase helps fix bugs or any issues.

5. Integration and Data Migration

The OMS solution needs to be integrated with other required systems. The testing team must conduct integration testing to ensure a smooth connection between numerous systems and the solutions. The phase also takes care of any migration of sales order data from any currently used OMS or spreadsheets.

6. Deployment and Training

Once the testing and integration phases are complete, it is time to deploy OMS to the production environment. The development team will plan for a smooth deployment process and support to address any issues that may arise.

Wrapping Up

Get ready to harness game-changing OMS solutions to scale your business operations and maximize profitability. With a top-notch custom OMS, you can look forward to implementing a complex omnichannel order fulfillment process, real-time inventory, and warehouse management, and much more.

The custom OMS can be built to offer intuitive interfaces with accessible functionality. It can help you boost your ROI using niche technologies and minimize costs. Moreover, you can augment the customer experience with flawless order fulfillment and execution across every channel.

It's time to deliver high-quality customer experiences and pivot your operations with a resilient, customer-centric OMS solution.

Build a Custom Order Management Software with Imaginovation

Are you ready to speed up your retail business operations and order processing through mind-blowing digital solutions? Our tech-savvy team can walk you through custom order management software development tailored to your business needs.

We are an award-winning web and mobile app development company in Raleigh with remarkable experience developing high-quality custom OMS that can give you a competitive edge.

Let's talk.

Author

Michael Georgiou
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